KOTA KINABALU – The body of a child and an adult male, believed to be victims of Tuesday’s passenger boat tragedy in Tawau, were recovered by search and rescue teams on Friday.
The discovery of the two bodies brings the total number of confirmed deaths to nine, with two more victims – including a baby – still missing.
Four others, including the Malaysian skipper of the ill-fated boat were rescued within 24 hours after the boat capsized in waters close to the Sungai Nyamuk river mouth in Tawau.
Sabah and Labuan Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) director First Admiral Mohd Zubil Mat Som said the two bodies were spotted at 4.10pm Friday by an MMEA helicopter search team about 2.6 nautical miles from Tinagat in Tawau.
He said an MMEA boat moved to the area and retrieved the two bodies before taking them to the Tawau Yacht Club jetty and then to the hospital for a post-mortem.
He said they would continue to comb the waters of Tawau bay for the two remaining victims.
The Tuesday evening incident came to light on Wednesday when a couple was rescued by a villager at Batu Payung in waters close to Sebatik Island.
On Thursday, police discovered that two other victims – the skipper and a passenger – were rescued by fishermen five hours after the incident.
The skipper of the boat, believed to be a Malaysian, is wanted by police and believed to be in hiding.